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RIP Richard Knerr

image The inventor of the the Frisbee, Hula Hoop, Slip ‘N Slide, and Silly String passed away Monday. 

He was also one of the pioneers of fun word of mouth marketing. From the LA Times:

They ran an early test of the product in 1958 at a Pasadena elementary school and enticed their test subjects by telling them they could keep the hoops if they mastered them.

They seeded the market, giving hoops away in neighborhoods to create a buzz and required Wham-O executives to take hoops with them on planes so people would ask about them.

Wham-O soon was producing 20,000 hoops a day at plants in at least seven countries, while other companies made knockoffs. Within four months, 25 million of the hoops had been sold, according to Wham-O.

Thanks for all the fun!  (LA Times article)

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